South Sudan Civil Society Forum
Juba, South Sudan
August 10, 2018
Appeal for Unreserved Honesty and Responsibility in the Peace Process
The South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) is disheartened by hostile actions and unfriendly public utterances that followed the signing of the Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance in Khartoum on August 5, 2018.
Soon after the signing of that Agreement, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar Teny failed to shake hands to demonstrate a sign of peace that they just signed. A speech by the President at Juba International Airport, on August 6, 2018, while holding a copy of the signed Agreement, focused more on negative past rather than provide hope and assurance of a new beginning for the country and the enthusiastic crowd that gathered to receive him and the peace they hoped he had brought from Khartoum.
It was not surprising that subsequent responses from SPLM-IO and the National Salvation Front to the speech of the President were strongly confrontational, stressing mainly negative past actions relating to the conflict.
These actions and public utterances cast doubts in the minds of South Sudanese of the honest intentions of these leaders to use this peace process as a means to end the conflict in the country. Rebuking reactions from religious leaders and social media discussions among South Sudanese attest to the discontent of the public on those hostile actions and utterances.
SSCSF takes this opportunity to remind H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and all leaders of the various political forces in the peace process of their moral obligations and responsibility to end this devastating conflict and create the environment necessary for reconciliation and implementation of the agreement being revitalized.
SSCSF further stresses the overarching demand of citizens for these leaders to leave their bitter past behind and create a future that restores hope and dignity to all South Sudanese in their current situations of desperation both within and outside the country. SSCSF acknowledges that the bitter past will always be in the history of South Sudan but should serve only as lessons rather than references.
In the spirit of peace, SSCSF reiterates the 5-point Citizens’ Agenda for the face-to-face meeting between the President and Dr. Machar in Addis Ababa – (1) the need for a peaceful and sustainable solution to end the suffering of the people, (2) a meaningful reconciliation, (3) a meeting with other opposition political leaders and civic groups,
(4) joint public events and (5) assurance of a non-repetition of the July 2016 incident.
SSCSF welcomes the progress made in the Khartoum Round of Talks and strongly appeals to all South Sudanese to demonstrate unreserved honesty and responsibility in the pursuit of genuine peace in the country.
SSCSF is a coalition of over 200 diverse and independent civic groups representing civil society, women, youth, academia and faith-based institutions from both government and opposition-controlled areas, camps of internally displaced persons, South Sudanese refugee settlements and the neighboring countries. SSCSF members are united by a common interest for peace, unity and respect for human dignity. It derives its mandate from the will of thousands of citizens it has been consulting and briefing on the progress of the High Level Revitalization Forum since its commencement in December 2017.
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org +211 926 136 145/+211 929 246 846.
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